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“Desire to me is a contract that you make with yourself to be unhappy until you get what you want, and I keep that in front of mind. It’s okay to suffer over that one.”
– Naval Ravikant
Throughout history, we have listened more closely to when successful or powerful people spoke. Being a philosopher is all well and good but having done it with a track record to show tends to add that little extra of conviction.
Since the late 1990s, many, particularly those in the business world, felt the need to pay particular attention to the enunciations of Silicon Valley’s tech entrepreneurs, and the countless charlatans riding in their wake. Exposed to amplification channels such as the internet and social media, we arguably spend significant time wondering if that latest tweet by some space entrepreneur was a) pure genius, b) the rant of someone with too much time at their hands or c) simply a symptom of rampant substance abuse.
It is natural, therefore, for anyone to be suspicious when someone like that offers concepts such as “getting rich without getting lucky” on Twitter. Naval Ravikant fits that mold perfectly. Except he doesn’t.
At age nine, Naval moved with his family from New Delhi to New York. Yes, he went on to graduate from Ivy League’s Dartmouth College, And yes, he ended up in Silicon Valley in the late nineties of the last century, co-founding, among others, the legendary startup platform AngelList. And yes again, he went on to invest, through the platform and privately, in over 200 companies, such as Uber, FourSquare, Twitter, Wish.com, Clubhouse, Bolt, OpenDNS, Yammer, and Clearview AI.
Ravikant is anything but your false prophet, who with the help of a ghostwriter, tries to capitalize on the gullible who fall for get-rich-quick-schemes. Instead, he is someone who muses about the connection between health, wealth and happiness. Someone who defines enlightenment as the space between one’s thoughts. Or someone who calls peace happiness at rest and contrasts it to happiness being peace in motion.
Please let us know what you think of this selection, and keep your recommendations coming.
If you are pressed for time and do not mind the controversies around Joe Rogan, the interviewer, we recommend listening to the Podcast that pushed Naval into the media spotlight a few years ago. Alternatively, you can also read his blog nav.al.
Slightly different from our usual recommendations, the book’s entirety (and bonus content!) is free to read and download on www.navalmanack.com. Anyone preferring the haptic delight of an actual book can still use the links below to purchase their copy.
The Almanack of Naval Ravikant
Naval Ravikant – The Angel Philosopher – is an entrepreneur, philosopher, and investor who has captivated the world with his principles for building wealth and creating long-term happiness.
The Almanack of Naval Ravikant is a collection of Naval’s wisdom and experience from the last ten years, shared as a curation of his most insightful interviews and poignant reflections. This isn’t a how-to book or a step-by-step gimmick. Instead, through Naval’s own words, you will learn how to walk your own unique path toward a happier, wealthier life.
Ravikant may not be the ultimate original thinker like Kant, Kierkegaard, or any of the Greek philosophers, but he is the ultimate contextualizer. And, in contrast to the group above he is fun to read and possible to listen to. Ravikant is the consummate reader. It all started because his mother could not afford a sitter to keep young Naval away from their rough neighborhood. Instead, she brought him to the public library, and told him to explore anything inside, but not outside the doors.
One should not judge thinkers based on authors they like to read, but if you must, for Naval they are the likes of Krishnamurti, Will and Ariel Durant, Yuval Noah Harari, Richard P. Feynman, Nassim Taleb, or Scott Adams. How about that for diversity.
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